When Being Biggest Isn’t the Best

The Institutye for Policy Inovation  – TexBytes 9.35

Texas Insider Report: AUSTIN, Texas – We know we’re big here in Texas, but does our public school payroll have to lead the nation? For every 10,000 Texans our state-supported schools employ 273 people.
Come on, you say: New Jersey just has to lead Texas in that category, right?  Wrong. New Jersey has just 266 school workers per 10,000 people. We’re No. 1!  Aren’t you proud?
And we could be proud–maybe–if the numbers reflected classroom teachers trying to stuff Shakespeare, the Declaration of Independence, and some Algebra into young minds. In fact, nearly half our 661,000 public school workforce does something other than teach–administering, record-keeping, answering the telephone, cleaning, transporting, serving meals, and maybe devoting time to how they can avoid having their salaries and benefits trimmed, like so many private sector workers who pay the teachers’ salaries.
The question we need to ask is, how come we need almost as many folks doing support work as there are doing the stuff for which schools supposedly exist in the first place–teaching kids?
Big budget cuts are coming in government spending all over the United States–here as well as New Jersey, New York, California, and Wisconsin (where public workers lately stormed Capitol Square to protest). The money, as everybody and his dog knows by now, just isn’t there. Raise taxes, and you damage recovering economies and cause deterioration in private sector payrolls.
Spending cuts in the government sector reflect reality: namely, too many people in legislatures and public bodies indiscriminately threw around money in the fat years that allowed them to hire more people than necessary to do the job.
Even teachers are going to lose their jobs as public schools retrench. But when you’ve got nearly as many non-teachers on the payroll as teachers, you find ways to get by with fewer services at lower cost.  By the way, it’s also how you learn what you really need as opposed to what public school employee unions tell you.
Today’s TexByte was written by IPI Research Fellow Bill Murchison.


  1. I guess you know that Texas is behind most other states in teacher salaries, school scores, etc. Schools are not abusing the monies. I wonder if New Jersey has the number of illegal students (that we are mandated to teach) as Texas?

  2. Bill Murchison is right on target.

    He mentioned that the districts have hired unnecessary employees during fat years and now it is difficult to cut back to the former level. But he did not mention the federal government’s involvement in growing the number of school employees. The federal government is very good at “giving” the states money for education on the condition that the states pick up the tab for those extra employees after a year or two. Once states take the fed’s money they are hooked.

    The federal government should not be involved in the education (indoctrination) of our children. Education was not one of the specific duties assigned to the federal government by the Constitution of the USA.

  3. zigmond–Why don’t you get some more HACK judges to make EVERYTHING you union thugs don’t like illegal and while you’re at it just have them make the whole Constitution illegal. You people don’t have a decent bone in your body. All I can say is you reap what you sow and you union thugs are sowing deceitful lies and schemes everywhere. When bad crap happens to you people that is unexplainable—-check out what you’ve sown and maybe you’ll find an answer.

    BTW—–I hope Governor Walker lays of half these and never rehires—I will not shed ONE tear and better yet; I’ll tap my foot while he does his dance.

    Keep running that liberal–kill children, old folks and small animals up the flag pole and see who pays attention. Only your Union Buddies—-You all are singing to your own choir with that stupid crap.
    This writer needs to camp on Straus, Dewhurst and Perry’s door and do like the union thugs do–trash everything and make a nuisance of himself; at least the drive by medias will have sympathy for him and tell him what a wonderful person he is, especially since he is NOT one of those EVIL TEA PARTY PEOPLE—It’s really getting TOOO much!!

  4. As usual the first comment from a UNION agitator. The same CRAP used for years to justify higher wages so UNIONS can justify dues used to support politicians.
    The TRUTH is as a BUSINESS public education could NOT qualify for a loan to stay in business.
    Taxpayers NEED to demand that School Districts NO longer get a FREE RIDE.

  5. Oh, but the money is there. It’s in the pockets of corporate country club conservative backers of these “destroyers of the middle class” governors and their lackeys.

    Wisconsin’s Gov. Walker just gave 180 million in tax breaks to big businesses-many of which are headquartered out of state. Then he tells the people “We’re broke”. He intends to reduce services to the poor, disabled, elderly, and squeeze those who teach the children, heal the sick, put out our fires, protect and serve, grow food, and take out the garbage.

    He attempted to ram his legislation thru in dark of night. This is a money grab by Walker and the out of state corporations that pull his strings. This is a war between corporate rule and honest, hard working people of Wisconsin – Nothing Less.

    The people of Wisconsin are boycotting Walker’s business supporters. Telling them “Be here for the quality of life and the good of the state or get out” ………”If we’re going to suffer anyway, it might as well be on OUR terms!”

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